tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera December 13, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm EST
for news and updates from around the world, be sure to check out our website, aljazeera.com. keep it here. thank you for your time. the author of why women have it all. >> i don't think it's possible to have everything. i could we can't get to a better balance for women and men. >> she was the first woman to head policy planning for the u.s. state department but left her work in washington for her family and started a national debate. >> i just realized i was going to miss the last two years my older son was in high school.
there is plenty of time to have a family and rise in your career as long as you are not expected to do both at the same time. >> slaughter is now the president of the new america foundation, a non-partisan think tank. she rejects the idea that women who fail lack ambition. >> i just see countless women who leaned in for all they were worth. >> while her writing on gender equality sparked a controversy, slaughter is an expert on foreign policy and international law and has called for the u.s. to intervene in syria. >> i still think that action against assad, himself, to force him to the negotiating table. >> i spoke with ann marie-slaughter in new york. >> you wrote an article that became a media sensation and turned you into a media sensation and it was entitled, "why women still can't have it all." did you ever expect it would strike that kind of nerve and have the reaction it got? >> no. i think no one did. in facting, the week before the article came out, "the at
atlantic" was trying to book me on various shows and wasn't getting very far because people were like, this has been said. this has been done. this is nothing new. i just caught the wave. and i think i caught an inter generational wave whether there were lots of young women who had been thinking about this. and i kind of validated them. >> and what you were facing was that here you were, near the top of the washington political establishment, and you faced a choice whether either get promoted and have an even bigger job. >> right. >> or go home. your husband and kids were in princeton. >> right. >> how hard was it for you after working so hard all your life to make that choice? >> very. i mean it wasn't hard to go home after the two years. i mean, if you are a professor, you have a two-year public service leave, and i had planned to do that. the harder decision was i wasn't going to try to go back in.
my party has been in power eight years 2016 and to try not to go back in 2012, that was really hard. but i just realized i was going to miss the last two years my older son was in high school if i tried and succeeded, i would have to go back to washington, and that was where i really thought for the first time in my life, you know, i've always assumed my career won't come first but i won't have to xhoments. you know, i will make it work, and this was where the two just collided. i chose family. >> you acknowledge that you had the choice. >> yes. >> which is a luxury a lot of people don't have. >> yes. >> that brings up the question: is too much being made of having it all? because especially if you look at members of the jury, in traditional sense, men really have never had it all or very few. >> right. >> have, too. so is it fair to even ask the question? >> the first thing to say is, i was not writing about me by any standard. i have managed to have career
and a family in ways that have worked. what i realize was that had been because i had had this very flexible life as an academic. even sew, i am not complaining. what my experience made me see was that for millions of women, it just isn't possible to combine work and family in the way they expected, which brings us to having it all. so the title -- my title would have been: what changes need to be made so that more women can stay in the pool and rise to the top? >> not exactly catchy. and "have it all" just meant women could do what men could do. one of the things i realized since is absolutely what you just said: women looked at men in the '60s and '70s, you have a family because i take care of that family and you have a great job. men often looked at women and said i am locked in to being a bread winner. if i want to spend more time with my family, i don't really have that choice. so i don't think either gender has it all. i don't think it's possible to
have everything, but i think we could get to a much better balance for women and men. >> what can we do so that both men and women have the ability to really be able to have their careers? >> right. >> and at the same time be involved parents? >> one is just much more flexibility at work. you know, when i am -- when i am the boss, i say if family comes first, work will not come second. i let the people who work for me do whatever they need to do to take care of their families. the second is, we just need to rethink the arc of careers. there is plenty of time to have a family and rise in your career as long as you are not expected to do both at the same time. but we have this idea that 40-year-olds and 50-year-olds, if you weren't promoted, you are passed over. >> that's crazy. and we are also missing out on a ton of talent that we need. and then the last thing is just a public infrastructure of care. all right? we are one of three currents trees that doesn't have paid maternity leave. we don't have high quality
affordable day care. we don't have any of the things we need if you really believe that care is important. >> let's start with important to value caregivers and care in general. >> absolutely. >> but can our economy afford it? are we set up to make that kind of change? >> if you are talking about paid family leave, we are the only country in the oecd that doesn't have it. right? so in that sense. >> larger economies in the world. >> that includes mexico, korea. >> right? >> absolutely. so there is absolutely no way that you could say we can't afford that. >> that's a value choice, not an economic choice. but the second point is, again, if you think about the kind of people we need in the workforce, you want the talent that is coming out of schools and going in to the workforce and getting trained, if you want to keep all of those people productive and in the workforce, you have to make it possible. the way to think about it is not: can we afford it? it's can we afford not to do that? and it's to think we need to
invest in the next generation because the other point is, we now know zero to 5 shapes a child's brain in a way that affects the rest of his or her life and yet, you know, we are paying the people who care for our babies the same we are paying for the people who care for our dogs and park our cars. right? >> not an investment that will get -- that will make us the country we need to be down the road. >> your first point was flexibility. i know in some businesses, it might not work as well. but how can we move toward allowing that? and i guess why have we moved toward it? >> in every industry, there are companies, there are law firms, there are consulting firms who are getting it. right? who are really experimenting because the answer to your question on flexibility is: try it. right? let people figure out how to get their work done and attend to their families. there are countless ways we can make this work if that's our goal. >> politicians on both sides of the aisle, family values. >> yeah. >> is typical. they all use it as a catch word.
>> right. >> they all use it in their campaigns. is there the political will to make the kind of changes that you are talking about, to establish maternity leave? no paternity leave either. >> right. >> is there political will to make those kind of changes? >> so as the number of women grow in the senate, you are already starting to see people pushing family oriented legislation of greater support for child care, greater support for paid leave. so part of this is getting the people who have traditionally been the caregivers into public. i think that also includes much more engaged fathers. and one of the things we are seeing is now 66% of men report the same degree or higher of work life stress as women. so, i actually do think the political support is there. i think we have not ever framed the issue as an issue of national investment. national security in terms of taking care of the next
generation and making sure we are competitive. but, also, it's just an issue of what i meant: what kind of society are we? right? there is a political action committee for just about everything. there is not for taking care of each other. >> yes. there are more women in congress and the senate but then the growth has stag stated? in fact, it's stag natured when it's come to top jobs in corporate america. >> we have been stuck at 20% for about two decades. my answer to that is: we've gotten about as far as we can go for the women who are either wealthy enough, lucky enough, or simply super human to be able to make it and have families, too. but you are not going to get much higher than 20 percent the those 20%, again, they've got enough money to hire people to take care of their children. they are lucky enough not to have had children that had special needs of various kinds. we are not going to get any further until we give women the same support structure that men in those jobs have.
if you look at male ceos, you do not find male ceos who are primary caregivers. they have a spouse who is the lead parent, and i don't think you are going to get women into those jobs until they have a spouse who is the lead parent. but that means changing the role of a lot of men. >> what do you say to facebooks stharl sandberg who wrote yacht lean in"? it says women don't dream big enough, that there is an ambition gap between men and women? >> she and i disagree on that. i totally support a lot of the advice in "lean in." i just see countless women who leanned in for all they were worth but on their second child or a child is special needs or a parent who is sick or a divorce or having to move away from their families, suddenly, game over. suddenly they couldn't maintain it. for those women, we need much, much more. >> two years after you wrote this, are you more hopeful, let's hopeful? >> i am more hopeful.
i actually think there is change afoot. but i think we need another waive of this revolution that will be pretty much as big as the one we have gone through, this time changing the role of men as much as it changes the role of women. >> still ahead on "talk to al jazeera" should the rules governing international intervention change? ann marie-slaughter on the legalities of war weighs in on that when we return. >> conservation, science and hope... >> the snow is really a critical resource... >> tech know's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can effect and surprise us... >> sharks like affection >> tech know, where technology meets humanity only on al jazeera america
one thing that you have written in a very thought-provoking way about is when nations should intervene. >> yes. >> when the u.s. should intervene in conflicts in other countries. one interesting thing you raise is sort of this difference between leg legality and legitimacy. sometimes countries have to intervene when they don't have proper legal authorizathes. what do you mean by
"legitimacy"? >> i to the international law for many years. i believe in the value of international rules, and i think you see it immediately today. right? if russia can invade crain and nothing happens as a matter of international law, the next thing you know noire country will invade without the saifrnthsz of the security council. rules are critical to upholding international order. >> said, we have a system that was to challenge the five victors. my proposition is we need to get past that arrangement. sometimes you have to break rules in order to change them. >> the u.s. acted legitimately in iraqi?
>> no. >> initially, you felt that it did. >> no. i never did. what i said was, the day after we invaded, i said, this is illegal. it was clearly illegal. i said it could be legitimate if we found weapons of mass destruction. we were grated with open arms by iraqis and we went back to the u.n. none of those three things happened. >> you needed all three? you needed to go back to the u.n.? >> two of the three. >> what you were saying the veto power and the security council and all of that, so you needed authorization from the u.n. to make an action in a foreign can you tree legal. >> yes. >> one of the five powers may have an objection and vet 0 it? >> right. >> how do you make any legitimate action legal? >> right. well, so there is the co kosovo model. in kosovo, we had been looking at war in the balkans for five years, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, rape, the works. and finally, when serbia then moved in to kosovo, we thought
we have seen this movie before. we are not going to let the kosovars be driven out of kosovo. russia was going to veto a u.n. action. nato went in any way. so the first thing to note is: i do not support unilateral intervention. if you can't get some serious number of countries to go with you through a real regional organization -- and i don't mean one that you set up with a couple of your best buddies, you know, you need a group of countries that say: we think this is so serious, we are going to take action, and then you need to prove that that was the right thing to do so that when you go back to the u.n., there is approval. >> but even that takes enormous effort and i know you supported stronger action against syria. >> i did. >> when the syrian civil war kicked in. we couldn't even get the brits to agree at that point that, you know, last year it was time to move in against assad.
>> getting a coalition was hard to do? >> it wasn't nato you needed there. the point is to get the current trees in the region. they are the countries that would be most affected by the use of force, directly or indirectly, refugees, popular protest. if a majority of them will say, this is so bad that we need external intervention, that's a very high bar, then i think we could have gone. >> so you don't have a problem in that case if the russians ends up vetoing itlate in the security coinsell because the action would have been legitmat? an abuse of human rights? >> all of the nations in the world in 2005 passed a u.n. resolution that said all nations have a responsibility to protect their own citizens and if they fail in that obligation in a massive way meaning war crimes, systematic crimes, genocide, ethnic collectioning, marv, marv
abuse of power, in those situations, the international community has the right to intervene. we use that in libya. it's going to take probably decades to ma i can it international law like human rights law, the universitial declaration, that was a deck laration like the isn'ty to protect over decades of treaties ratifying that, action and supporting human rights, that becomes the new law. unless we are doing to do some things that violate current law, we can't get to a place where we can stop things like the syrian civil war early enough that they don't get wildly out of control room. >> intervention is often needed early to be effective? >> absolutely. at this point, i look at this and think how on earth are you going to stop this? i think action against assad himself to force him to the negotiating table but i am not sure who else would be at that table at this points because three years oning, it looks very different. >> right.
>> it will be four years on. >> the moderate sirrians seem to be minimal at best in their strength and number. so, if you go after assad, are you not then helping isil? >> and if you go after isil, aren't you helping assad? syria has now fracture did and fractured into many different pieces. it is infin italy harder to frig out how you would broker some political settlement. this is what assad wanted. he wanted to make it him versus the most extreme. >> sure, from the beginning. >> exactly. >> he wanted to portray himself as the balward against terror t terrorist? >> we could have acted but we would have had to take very bold action and we would have had to have supports in the region and try to force him to the table when there was somebody to negotiate with. >> since we are in the middle east, i know you supported the action in libya. >> yes, i did. >> tom friedman in "the new york times" wrote a column saying
that decapitation didn't work in libya, which is basically getting rid of gadaffi. >> dem citations didn't work in egypt and abdication can which we hoped assad would do, we tried invasion, occupation, who knows what else we have tried in iraq and none of that has worked is it hopeless? is there nothing we can do in the middle east to help? >> so i think you have to ask compared to what if you want to look at libya and syria. libya is in deep trouble. when gadaffi was there, all of the predictions were was that libya would devolve into civil war between the bing as benghaz where gadaffi held three parts together. there were predictions libya would be what syria has become. for all of the trouble in libya, it's still a functioning state. it's got lots of trouble.
we did lots of things wrong. i think they are better off had we not intervened, had gadaffi been allowed to do what assad did, fight for years. these things take a long time. you think the strategy against isil is appropriate? >> it is simply essential. you cannot actually allow this organization setting up a rule that is as barbaric as any that we have seen redraw the borders in the middle east. i think it is radically incompletely complete, however, to attack it as a purely military problem and to attack it as if it were not completely and intimately bound up with the syrian civil war and the politics of iraq and increasingly, the economics of turkey. so we need the political strategy together with the military strategy. >> do we needs more force? >> i am not sure we need -- if we need more force, we need more
force from the region. i strongly agree with president obama that the u.s. has to use force in a way that has lots of partners. the way we used force in libya was right. the united states provided some absolutely critical assets. we were not on the front lines of the air campaign and then there wasn't a ground campaign. to the section extents we had knee more force, itcants be the u.s. par shooting troops in but if the u.s. demon straights the will to ramp up and support others, people will come together in a coalition, the question is: no one knows what the u.s. is really willing to do. they know we are willing to product ourselves. but not how long we will be there to support others. >> coming up: crises all over the world. how much is president obama to blame? stay with us on "talk to al jazeera." ♪
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this is "taj talk to al jazeera." my guest this week is the president of the new america freedom foundation. an marie-slaughter. president obama has faced harsh leadership criticism for his leadership from leading from behind. people say his enemies don't fear him, thats his allies don't trust him. you wrote blaming obama for all of the world's ills is like blaming a caribbean island for a hurricane. but you wrote if the meets bullets with words, ty rants will draw their own conclusion. so how do you reconcile those thoughts? >> the first thing is, i think president obama is encountering more crises at one time than anyone in recent memory. he's got the middle east in flames. he's got russia with ukraine,
china, japan, the south china sea and a global pandemic that could be as terrifying as anything we have witnessed. and that's leaving out smaller crises. so, i think to blame him because the world is a mess, as i said, that's just crazy. i do think that his failure to follow through on the use of force where when assad used chemical weapons and obama had drawn that red line did really make many people wonder: was the u.s. prepared to stand up for things that it says are absolutely critical? i think that introduced an element of uncertainty. i don't think, though, you can say putin would not have invaded ukraine had obama been stronger. i don't think you can say isil would not have arisen. that's just -- those are counter factuals factuals. >> that's not the way the world
works. >> so when does the u.s. need to intervene? do our vital interests need to be at play and when is an interest a vital interest? >> so there is a clear vital interest where, you know, the defendants of our homeland, the defendants of our people, the difference of our allies all of those are things where, yes, we are prepared to use force. where i may be differ from many traditional foreign policy people is i do think that if the gap between what we say we stand for and what we do becomes too wide, we are irref kraeshling weakened in the world. either we can stop saying we stands for universal human rights, we can stop saying we stands for democracy, we stand people who fight for their rights. as long as they are saying it and as long as we are standing up and saying, we fight atrocities, signed the genocide treaty, we will defend people
against crimes against humanity, my view is at some point, you've got to make good on what you say. if you don't, you have lost your reputation, your capital, your identity as a nation. >> i will ask you the same question i asked you about women in the workforce: are you hopeful that this mass of a world that we are living today, that things will improve? >> i don't think you can be an international lawyer by training and not be hopeful because what you see if you study international law is that it does take decades and cents trees to establish these rules and to cement them so that we have less war in the world now than we have ever had before. it may not feel like it but we actually have less than ever before more human beings are living better and longer than ever before. we have rules against war. right? until the 20th september tree, it was personally fine for any nation to invade another nation and no one would do anything.
i am optimistic. i think it depends on the great powers taking joint responsibility not only for piece among each other but, also, for a minimum standard of human rights of wellbeing for the world's people. the united states has to lead those nations. we really do. we are, i still think, the sing nation who has the biggest role to play but we can't play it alone and it means our marshaling that consensus among other great powers not just the ones wins who won world war ii but the new powers of this 70s trial as well. >> an marie-slaughter, pleasure to have you with us. >> thank you.